Posted: 31.07.20 at 18:15 by The Editor
CONCERNED residents who have speculated that the wheels might have come off plans for a new integrated medical centre in Corringham have been assured that the plan is still a reality.
However, details about at what stage the project is at, what facilities will be provided and any general information about the site on the Sorrells remain thin on the ground.
And Thurrock Council, which has been a staunch supporter of the integrated medical hubs scheme that is key to closing Orsett Hospital, declined to comment at all.
Residents in Corringham have expressed their concerns about the scheme after a lengthy silence from both the council and the North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) which is running the project on the site adjacent to Graham Jones Primary School.
The site has been sealed off and left behind large hoardings, some of which have become dilapidated. The project appears to have become stalled since, in 2018, Thurrock Clinical Commission Group said they had concerns about the project and couldn’t see progress happening “until all stakeholders have agreed on what services they wish to deliver from each IMC and how much space they will require to do so.”
Also in 2018 Thurrock Council said: “We are taking big steps to get the centres up and running as soon as possible.”
Those 'big steps' appear to have turned into little shuffles, through progress has been reported on the scheme for a Tilbury Hub, with design plans for the build on the town’s Community Resource Centre given a public airing.
Thurrock Nub News sought clarity on the state of the project and was told by Thurrock Council, which is earmarked to pump millions into the integrated hubs scheme: “This is a NELFT project and they are best placed to help.”
A brief statement from NELFT’s director of operations, Brid Johnson, today (Friday, 31 July) said: “We are pleased to confirm we are continuing to work with our health and social care partners in Thurrock to develop an integrated medical centre in Corringham which will provide care closer to home for the local community.
“Corringham integrated medical centre will be one of four new centres across Thurrock which will join up health and social care services in the community to improve the health and well-being of people in the local area.”
While Thurrock Council declined to comment, Stanford East and Corringham town ward councillor Shane Ralph did speak. he said: "As chair of the health and well-being overview and scrutiny committee I will be speaking a lot about the Hubs.
"As part of the Thurrock and Orsett hospital finishing group I raised many questions in regards to the Corringham hub. One being 'is it going to be big enough to cope with the planned population growth?' And another was 'will the Hub be using the same entrance as the school?'
"Open date of the hub is 2022 I think."
Related story: [CCG backs hubs scheme